Abu Dhabi has stepped up the regional race to be a leader in new mobility assembly and testing after signing off two major deals.
Recent weeks have seen Saudi Arabia unveiled its plans to become a regional 500,000 vehicle per year auto-hub after the opening of Lucid Air’s new plant in KAEC outside of Riyadh.
The UAE capital has now made two major announcements which signal its own ambitions to create a major manufacturing and testing centre around its new Smart and Autonomous Vehicle Industry (SAVI) cluster.
China’s Neta Auto, Hozon Auto’s electric vehicle (EV) brand is set to open an R&D center and assembly plant at (SAVI) cluster.
Spearheaded by the Abu Dhabi Department for Economic Development (ADDED) and Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), the fully integrated cluster headquartered in Masdar City will serve as a hub for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and will be the third R&D facility for the company, following its Shanghai and Hong Kong centers. It will also provide regional back-office services including sales, marketing, importing and exporting, and aftermarket components.
Neta will be able to test its latest technologies at the testing zone in Yas Island. The island offers an established road mobility test bed with a growing number of incorporated technology startups.
ADIO has also inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NWTN, a prominent UAE-based smart vehicle company.
Under this agreement, NWTN will leverage the Yas Island testing zone, made available by the Emirate’s Smart and Autonomous Vehicles Industry (SAVI) cluster. This zone serves as a well-established road mobility test bed and is increasingly attracting technology startups to its ecosystem.
NWTN stands out as a pioneering green energy company with expertise in delivering passenger-centric, premium electric vehicle products and green energy solutions. Earlier this year, the company made waves with the launch of a luxury smart passenger vehicle equipped with cutting-edge technology, including autonomous driving capabilities.
The collaboration with NWTN positions it as a vital contributor to the acceleration of Abu Dhabi’s green automotive industry, thereby expediting progress in the modern automobile sector and transportation landscape of the Emirate.
As the UAE gears up to host COP28, the introduction of the Abu Dhabi SAVI cluster is poised to drive the adoption of green mobility services, propelling both the nation and the global community closer to a zero-emissions future.
Badr Al-Olama, the Director General of Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), emphasized, “The launch of Abu Dhabi’s pioneering SAVI cluster has already attracted global companies and talent poised to develop innovative solutions that will revolutionize transportation and mobility. Our aim is to make a transformative impact worldwide by accelerating efforts towards a zero-emissions future and the adoption of green mobility services. Our partnership with NWTN perfectly aligns with these ambitions, and we eagerly anticipate a greener, more sustainable future.”
Paul Lin, President of NWTN Motors, remarked, “At NWTN, we are leading the charge in green mobility, melding pioneering design with cutting-edge autonomous driving technology. As we expand our presence in Abu Dhabi, we are not only propelling the UAE toward a zero-emissions future but also championing sustainable transportation solutions for the UAE and the wider region. Our strength lies in our commitment to providing premium electric vehicles integrated with the Internet of Everything, and our global exploration across the clean energy value chain.”
The creation of the fully integrated SAVI cluster was a collaborative effort between the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and ADIO. Encompassing the design, testing, and manufacturing of smart and autonomous transportation and mobility solutions, this cluster will offer state-of-the-art facilities, services, and regulatory support to attract and facilitate innovation and commercialization in advanced autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies within the UAE. It is set to unlock the full global potential of these technologies.
In a busy week for SAVI and ADIO it has been announced that Star Charge is also looking to expand its global operations by setting up its regional headquarters in Masdar City.
Star Charge is a smart energy turnkey solution provider, offering complete EV charging and energy storage hardware, software, and seamless services. The company’s R&D efforts are focused on advancing new energy solutions through pivotal technologies like IoT, dynamic power distribution, and Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology.
Claire Wang, Star Charge GCC Country Manager, said: “It’s a tremendous honour for Star Charge. Our commitment to innovating EV infrastructure, combined with the constructive and influential platform offered by SAVI and Masdar City, paints a bright future for sustainable mobility in the region. This partnership will undoubtedly catalyse the growth of EV adoption and the transition to cleaner, smarter new energy ecosystem in the region.”
Badr Al-Olama, Director General of Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), added: “We are proud to welcome Star Charge to Abu Dhabi’s SAVI cluster, which continues to attract leading global innovators, as we collaborate together within an enabling ecosystem to collectively drive the future of sustainable mobility across the world.”